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Usage Patterns

Total Online Population (000's) in 2012 88,495
Percentage of Population Online in 2012 45.6%


There were 88,494,756 internet users in Brazil (representing 45.6% of the population) at mid-year 2012, according to Internet World Stats. (Internet World Stats, December 2012)

Internet usage in Brazil is growing at a rapid pace. eMarketer expects the number of internet users in the largest country in Latin America to reach 86.4 million in 2012, for a total penetration of 42%. As the web and social media become part of the everyday routine of many consumers in Brazil, they have begun to integrate their digital activities with other media as well.

According to February data from IBOPE Nielsen Online, internet users in metropolitan areas of Brazil were joining the global trend of simultaneously using the internet while watching TV. Almost six in 10 internet users said that they accessed the internet while watching TV every day, while less than a tenth reported using the internet once a week or less while watching TV. (eMarketer, August 2012)

Internet adoption will reach 42.0% in Brazil in 2012, according to eMarketer. The level is expected to reach 48.0% by 2016.

Internet user penetration in Brazil, 2011-2016:
- 2011: 39.0%
- 2012: 42.0%
- 2013: 44.0%
- 2014: 46.0%
- 2015: 47.0%
- 2016: 48.0%

(eMarketer, July 2012)

53% of all consumers in Brazil had accessed the internet at least once in their lifetime and 45% had accessed within the three months prior to being surveyed, according to the local internet regulator Núcleo de Informação e Coordenação do Ponto BR (NIC.BR)'s annual household communications study, "TIC Domicílios 2011," as of January 2012.  

eMarketer, which estimates the number of internet users that access at least once a month, is more conservative, estimating internet penetration at 42% in 2012.

Demographics profile of internet users in Brazil, January 2012 (% of respondents in each group):

- Male: 54%
- Female: 52%

- 10-15: 75%
- 16-24: 81%
- 25-34: 67%
- 35-44: 48%
- 45-59: 30%
- 60+: 12%

The NIC.BR surveyed 25,000 consumers in Brazil from November 2011 to January 2012 and found that users ages 16- to 24-years-old were the most likely to have ever used the internet, at 81%, followed by 10- to 15-year-olds (75%) and 25- to 34-year-olds (67%). Internet users were fairly evenly split by gender.

NIC.BR also found that internet users in Brazil were avid online communicators: 78% of respondents said they had used email during the prior three months, 72% had used instant messaging and 69% had used social networks like orkut, LinkedIn and Facebook.

Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP), microblogs and blogging were less popular, at 23%, 22% and 15%, respectively. Again, usage was nearly evenly split by gender, and 16- to 24-year-olds trended higher in most categories.

eMarketer expects internet users in Brazil who use the internet at least once a month to consist of 48% of the population by 2016, for a total of 103 million users. As more consumers head online, brands can expect to conduct a large portion of their communications there, as well. (eMarketer, June 2012)

Brazil ranks as the 7th largest internet market globally with a home and work computer audience of 46.3 million visitors age 15 and older, up 16% from the previous year, according to The 2012 Brazil Digital Future in Focus report by comScore.

Key findings from the report include:
- Brazilians spent an average of 26.7 hours online in December 2011, gaining 10% in the past year (equivalent to more than 2 hours). Portals led as the most engaging internet activity, accounting for 39% of total online minutes in December 2011, followed by Social Networking with 23%, which increased 6% percentage points in the past year.
- In December 2011, Brazilians viewed more than 4.7 billion online videos, an increase of 74% in the past year. Growth was driven by a 19% increase in unique viewers and a 46% increase in videos per viewer as online video took its place as a top online activity.
- Fueled by the holiday shopping season, online retail visitation jumped 30% as more Latin Americans turned to the web to shop and purchase goods and services. Among retail categories, Comparison Shopping had the highest penetration in Brazil with more than 1 in 3 online users accessing these sites in December 2011.
- 6.9 billion online searches were performed in Brazil during December 2011, up 37% from the previous year. Searching peaked in October and November fueled by searching related to the holiday shopping season.

(comScore, March 2012)

Half of all the internet users in Brazil went online daily during August 2011, according to the 10th edition of local ad agency F/Nazca Saatchi & Saatchi's "F/Radar" report. This was an increase of 9 percentage points from April 2011, and 13 percentage points higher than the survey from the same month two years prior.

Daily internet users in Brazil, April 2008-August 2011:
- April 2008: 32%
- August 2008: 38%
- March 2009: 32%
- August 2009: 37%
- April 2010: 38%
- November 2010: 44%
- April 2011: 41%
- August 2011: 50%

eMarketer estimates there were 78.3 million internet users in Brazil in 2011, meaning roughly 42 million people accessed the web every day. eMarketer forecasts Brazil will have 98.5 million internet users by 2015. At today's daily access rate, that translates to almost 50 million users online every day. (eMarketer, February 2012)

Brazil ranked as the largest online market in Latin America with more than 38 million visitors in September 2010, according to comScore. This represents an increase of 19% compared to the previous year. (comScore, December 2010)


Social Networking and UGC

eMarketer has lowered its forecast for the number of social network users in Brazil in 2012 by 11.8 million and predicts slower growth in social network users throughout the forecast period than previously projected. In 2012, percentage gains will be at 13.5%, down from the earlier forecast of 14.4%.

Social network users and penetration in Brazil, 2010-2014:
- 2010: 47.3 million users / 65.0% of internet users / 23.5% of population
- 2011: 56.3 million / 71.0% / 27.7%
- 2012: 63.9 million / 74.0% / 31.1%
- 2013: 72.3 million / 79.0% / 34.8%
- 2014: 79.3 million / 82.0% / 37.7%

In 2011, Facebook overtook orkut (previously Brazil's biggest social network) in user numbers, making it the country's top social network. However, like overall social network users, Facebook users in Brazil are also increasing at a slower-than-expected pace. The growth rate for Facebook users in Brazil for 2012 and 2013 has been decreased to 46.8% and 44.7%, respectively. eMarketer has reduced its estimate of the number of Facebook users in Brazil for 2012 only, from 45.4 million to 41.5 million.

Facebook users and penetration in Brazil, 2010-2014:
- 2010: 7.3 users / 15.4% of social network users / 10.0% of internet user
- 2011: 28.2 million / 50.1% / 35.6%
- 2012: 41.5 million / 64.9% / 48.0%
- 2013: 60.0 million / 83.0% / 65.6%
- 2014: 69.2 million / 87.3% / 71.6%

(eMarketer, October 2012)

Brazil is becoming highly social, with social media penetration expected to reach 87.6% of internet users in 2012, according to February data from IBOPE Nielsen Online. Users are bringing that social engagement to their simultaneous activities as well.

eMarketer forecasts that social media users in Brazil will increase from 66.2 million in 2011 to 75.7 million in 2012. As more users become active on social media, expect engagement to increase during their favorite TV programs as well. (eMarketer, August 2012)

Social networking accounted for 23% of total online minutes in December 2011, according to The 2012 Brazil Digital Future in Focus report by comScore.

Facebook surpassed Orkut in December 2011, taking the lead as the top social networking destination in Brazil with 36.1 million visitors, up 192% from the previous year. Facebook also became the most-engaging social networking site with visitors averaging 4.8 hours on the site in December 2011, up from just 37 minutes a year ago. (comScore, March 2012)

Brazil has always been a particularly social market and currently owns the fifth largest social networking population in the world. But despite the cultural affinity for social media, Facebook adoption had traditionally lagged in the market. That has all changed in the past year, during which the site has tripled in audience size as engagement has grown sevenfold to assume the leadership position in the market.

Facebook assumed the top position in the Brazilian social networking market following a year of exceptional growth, according to comScore. In December 2011, attracted 36.1 million visitors, representing an increase of 192% in the past twelve months, to surpass Orkut as the leading social networking destination in the market.

Selected Social Networking Sites in Brazil by Total Unique Visitors (000), December 2011 (Total Brazil Internet Audience, Age 6+ Home & Work Locations):
Total Internet / Total Audience: 51,759,000 (+15% compared to December 2010)
Social Networking: 47,399,000 (+12%)
1. 36,098,000 (+192%)
2. Orkut: 34,419,000 (+5%)
3. Windows Live Profile: 13,301,000 (+13%)
4. 12,499,000 (+40%)
5. 4,901,000 (+338%)
6. Google Plus: 4,300,000 (-)
7. 4,029,000 (+206%)
8. 3,182,000 (-) saw impressive growth across all major metrics during the past year, including significant increases in audience engagement. In December 2011, an average visitor to spent 4.8 hours on the site, surging from just 37 minutes in December 2010. Visitors consumed an average of 500 pages of content on the site during December (up 655%), and visited the site an average of 27 times during the month (up nearly 163%).

A closer look at visitors to revealed that females averaged more time on the site at 5.3 hours compared to 4.1 hours for males, mirroring a broader global dynamic of females' heavier social networking engagement. People between the ages of 25-34 accounted for the largest share of visitors to at 30.6 percent of the total audience, while visitors age 15-24 averaged the most time on the site at 6.2 hours per visitor in December.

Geographically, visitors from Rio de Janeiro and Distrito Federal displayed the highest levels of engagement with the site averaging 5.1 hours on the site during the month. Visitors from São Paulo accounted for more than one-third of all visitors. (comScore, January 2012)

Social media in Brazil is huge, according to PhoCusWright that found that:
-  (Australia and) Brazil are the top social media users in the world
- 85% of Brazilians age 15 and older who accessed the internet from home or work computers visited a social networking site
- Main social media site: Orkut(80% market share) followed by Facebook
- Brazilians spend an average of 30.2 hours/month online (work+freetime), (worldwide average of 25.7 hours/month), about 8 hours are spent on Orkut
- Brazil is the fifth-largest nation of Twitter users and the highest percentage of users of all of the non-English speaking countries. The top Twitter-using countries are all English speaking: the US leads with 62.1% of Twitter users, followed by the UK, Canada, and Australia.
(PhoCusWright presentation "The Emerging Online Travel Marketplace in China, India and Brazil" at the ETC e-Business Academy, Belgrade on SlideShare, October 2010)


Ecommerce in Brazil has been climbing steadily, powered by growing internet penetration and rising household income, according to an eMarketer report entitled ‘Brazil Ecommerce: Sports, Travel and Cheap Retail Maintain the Market's Momentum'.

Even as Brazil's economy slows, the country's B2C ecommerce sales should see double-digit expansion this year and again in 2014, when the FIFA World Cup soccer tournament is expected to prompt a surge in domestic travel and event-related economic activity. eMarketer estimates show that B2C eCommerce sales in the country should reach $27.30 million by 2016, up from $19.76 in 2013.

eMarketer estimates that Brazil will have 26.7 million digital buyers in 2013, equal to 36% of internet users. That penetration level is a far cry from the US, where the figure is 73%, but Brazil outpaces Latin America as a whole, for which the average is 33.2%.

A study by Fundação Getúlio Vargas (FGV), a higher-education institution and think tank, predicts the middle class will represent 60.2% of Brazil's population by 2014, at which point the group should include more than 120 million people. As more middle-income consumers go digital, online retailers can expect to see more purchases being made, but at lower price points. The increasing number of middle-income online shoppers also suggests that comparison shopping, while already prevalent among consumers in Brazil, will grow even more common. While the middle class, especially those in the upper end, will be a major driver of growth in ecommerce in Brazil, much of the segment's sales will continue to come from wealthier buyers, who not only have more expendable income but also have more experience online.

(eMarketer, March 2013)

B2C eCommerce (including both retail ecommerce and online travel sales) in Brazil, the biggest economy in Latin America, is expected to total US$18.7 billion in 2012, according to eMarketer. This represents a 21.9% increase over the previous year.

B2C eCommerce sales in Brazil, 2010-2015:
- 2010: US$11.6 billion (+34.6%)
- 2011: US$15.3 billion (+31.9%)
- 2012: US$18.7 billion (+21.9%)
- 2013: US$21.7 billion (+16.5%)
- 2014: US$24.4 billion (+12.0%)
- 2015: US$26.9 billion (+10.4%)

Brazil will account for more than half of total B2C ecommerce sales in Latin America through 2013, thanks in large part to its huge population and growing number of online buyers. In October 2011, eMarketer forecast that 34% of internet users in Brazil, or 23.2 million people, would make an online purchase in 2012.

Online buyers in Brazil, 2010-2015:
- 2010: 14.4 million (24.7% of internet users / 9.5% of population)
- 2011: 18.9 million (30.0% / 12.3%)
- 2012: 23.2 million (34.0% / 14.8%)
- 2013: 26.4 million (36.0% / 16.6%)
- 2014: 29.3 million (37.7% / 18.2%)
- 2015: 31.6 million (39.0% / 19.4%)

In 2015, 39.0% of internet users, or 31.6 million people, will have made at least one purchase online, driving sales to US$26.9 billion that year. (eMarketer, January 2012)

Online Travel Market

Travel planning

Mundi and TripAdvisor have leapfrogged over at the top of the most popular travel websites in Brazil in March 2013.

Market leader in February 2013, found its share of the destination and accommodation category cut by 2.75% in March. TripAdvisor secured second spot (from third in February) with a 1% increase, but Mundi which posted a 10.5% jump in traffic share month-on-month. (tnooz, April 2013)

In the past year a record number of Brazilians turned to the web to plan and book travel, gaining 18%, according to comScore's study on the growth of the online travel market in Brazil from its comScore MMX service. The audience nearly tripled since July 2009. 16.5 million Brazilians visited travel sites in July 2012 from a home or work computer. One in three travel category visitors in Brazil are 25-34 years old.

A look at the top travel sites (at the domain level) found that local brands secured nearly all the top positions in the ranking. led as the top destination, reaching 3.1 million unique visitors in July, followed by with 2.3 million visitors. Airline destinations secured the next two spots with reaching 2.3 million visitors and reaching nearly 2 million visitors. OTA site ranked as the fifth largest travel site with 1.7 million visitors.

Top travel domains by unique visitors, July 2012 (Home & Work locations):
TRAVEL: 16,517,000 unique visitors
- 3,137,000
- 2,306,000
- 2,287,000
- 1,952,000
- 1,688,000
- 1,193,000
- 1,115,000
- 1,019,000
- 823,000
- 780,000
- 544,000
- 480,000
- 476,000
- 390,000
- 368,000
- 340,000
- 313,000
- 277,000
- 238,000

Geographically, São Paulo accounted for 32% of visitors the travel category, followed by Rio de Janeiro with 13% of visitors.

Demographic profile, travel category, July 2012 (Home & Work locations):
TOTAL AUDIENCE: 100% of unique visitors
- All Males: 50.6%
- All Females: 49.4%

- 15-24: 17.8%
- 25-34: 32.6%
- 35-44: 22.5%
- 45-54: 15.3%
- 55+: 8.3%

- São Paulo: 32.0%
- Rio de Janeiro: 13.0%
- Minas Gerais: 7.3%
- Paraná: 7.3%
- Rio Grande do Sul: 6.0%
- Santa Catarina: 4.5%
- Bahia: 4.0%
- Distrito Federal: 4.6%
- Other: 21.2%

(comScore, August 2012)

Brazilian tourism board Embratur is getting creative about travel inspiration and trip planning. The board launched a YouTube brand channel which enables travelers to create itineraries by viewing and adding videos to their prospective trips. The idea is to promote Brazil tourism, especially in light of the 2014 FIFA World Cup and the Rio 2016 Olympic and Paralympic Games in the country.

When you navigate to Visit Brazil on YouTube, you can input information about when you want to travel, how long the trip should be, who you are traveling with, and your type of desired vacation (shopping, hanging out, sports, beach, nature and/or culture), and then choose from among 141 videos about the destination and its attractions. From there you view and then add videos about various attractions and create an itinerary based on your video selections. The final step is to name your tour and edit the itinerary, which may include stops in Recife, Conde and Olinda, for example. You can save your tour, create additional trips or view suggested itineraries.

The Tnooz article indicates that Embratur's idea to use videos as a source of travel inspiration may be a good one. What the strategy is lacking for now is the logical next step - providing travelers with ability to book their chosen itineraries. However, that capability may be added in the future, a spokesperson says.

In addition to launching the YouTube brand channel March 20, Embratur was due to launch a free game app, Brasil Quest, for iPhone, iPad and Android beginning March 23. It is already available in iTunes. Going along with the football theme, the app follows the travels of an alien named Yep, who searches for happiness in the 2014 FIFA World Cup's 12 Brazilian host cities.

Embratur kicked off the launch of its brand channel with some offline activities - in Manhattan's Grand Central Terminal March 20, the board presented live Brazilian music, speakers, interactive demonstrations and was to give participants a chance to try out the site. (tnooz, March 2012)

Experian Hitwise revealed the most popular travel websites in Brazil for the week ending May 14 2011 in the categories Agencies; Destinations and Accommodation and Airlines.

Top Agency websites in Brazil for the week ending May 14 2011 by % of visits:
1. Decolar ( 24.32%
2. viajanet ( 16.14%
3. Hotel Urbano ( 12.38%

Top Destinations and Accommodation websites in Brazil for the week ending May 14 2011 by % of visits:
1. Hotel Urbano ( 15.17%
2. Mundi Buscador de Viagens ( Br): 11.37%
3. ( 7.20%

Top Airline websites in Brazil for the week ending May 14 2011 by % of visits:
1. GOL Linhas Aereas Inteligentes ( 31.20%
2. TAM ( 26.42%
3. Azul ( 8.73%

(tnooz talking travel tech, May 2011)

Travel booking

As in other countries, digital travel sales have played a major role in the growth of ecommerce in Brazil, according to eMarketer. Travel represented close to a third of the country's total ecommerce sales in 2012, eMarketer estimates. Brazil's sheer size means that air travel is required to get from place to place, and airline tickets can be expensive.

Digital travel sales in Brazil, 2011-2016:
- 2011: $4.33 billion (+50.0% change)
- 2012: $5.42 billion (+25.0%)
- 2013: $6.50 billion (+20.0%)
- 2014: $8.72 billion (+34.2%)
- 2015: $9.44 billion (+8.2%)
- 2016: $10.00 billion (+6.0%)

(eMarketer, March 2013)

The top online travel agency (OTA) in Brazil is, according to preliminary data from PhoCusWright. In 2009, OTAs accounted for 23% of online travel market share (vs 77% for suppliers direct).

Top OTAs in Brazil, 2010:
1. 40%
3. Priceline/Booking: 6%
4. Expedia/ 6%
5. malapronta: 4%
6. viajanet: 4%
7. rapi10: 2%
8. Travelocity: 1%
Others: 2%
(PhoCusWright presentation "The Emerging Online Travel Marketplace in China, India and Brazil" at the ETC e-Business Academy, Belgrade on SlideShare, October 2010)


Broadband Access

The number of mobile broadband accesses will reach 1 billion by 2022, according to estimates by Brazilian telecoms regulator Anatel.  Brazil had reached 16 million fixed broadband connections at the end of 2010, and Anatel is now projecting that there will be around 70 million fixed broadband connections by 2022 and 40 million cable TV connections. (, September 2011)

Mobile devices

Mobile / Smartphones

Digital media consumption via connected devices (including mobile, tablets, etc.) is growing quickly in Brazil, outpacing many markets, according to comScore. Although non-computer device traffic accounted for just 1.0% of total internet page views in August 2011, this number represents an increase of more than 60% since May 2011, demonstrating the rapidly growing importance of tablets and smartphones to the digital landscape in Brazil.

Key findings on Brazil's connected device market include:
- In Brazil, non-computer devices such as tablets, mobile phones and gaming consoles accounted for 1.0% of all internet page views in August 2011, up from just 0.6% in May 2011.
- Out of this 1.0% of non-computer traffic, mobile phones accounted for the largest share at 59.8%. Tablets accounted for 36.5% of non-computer traffic, while other devices (which include iPods, e-readers, gaming consoles, etc.) accounted for 3.7%.
- Compared to the US and UK, non-computer traffic in Brazil skewed more towards tablets and less towards mobile phones and other devices.
- Apple's iPad led the tablet market driving 94% of tablet page views in August 2011 in Brazil. iPads now account for the majority share of traffic originating from Apple devices at 58.7%.

(comScore, October 2011)

Mobile phones have become an indispensable accessory for young Brazilians. Brazil ranks second behind Italy among the markets where multiple SIM (Subscriber Identity Module) cards are used among those aged 15-24, according to a Nielsen study conducted in nine countries (US, Germany, Spain, Italy, U.K., Brazil, Russia, China, India).

SIM is a portable memory chip that makes it easy to switch to a new mobile phone by simply sliding the SIM out of the old phone and into the new one. Ever since SIM cards started being used in place of the CDMA technology (Code Division Multiple Access), they became part of the new norm for young Brazilians.

Multiple SIM usage, Age 15-24, Quarter 1, 2010:
- Italy: 29%
- Brazil: 22%
- Russia: 21%
- Germany: 20%
- UK: 16%
- Spain: 16%
- India: 15%
- China: 14%

With only 40% of young Brazilian consumers taking advantage of advance data services such as mobile internet, instant messaging, email, ring tone, game or screen saver downloads, mobile service providers have an opportunity to expand usage of these services. In fact, only between five and seven percent of young Brazilians use any of these advanced data options currently.

Chinese youth lead the way ahead of the US for advanced data usage, with mobile internet the most popular among 73% and 48% respectively.

Advanced data users, Age 15-24, Quarter 1 2010:
- China: 84%
- US: 83%
- Russia: 71%
- UK: 68%
- Italy: 62%
- Spain: 58%
- Germany: 47%
- Brazil: 40%
- India: 13%

(The Nielsen Company, February 2011)

Last Updated on Saturday, 29 June 2013 20:08